Making This Mistake Could Ruin Your Vacation


Nothing puts a damper on vacation like reaching for your smart phone or wallet only to find it’s gone. Often signs warning of pick pocketing activity in popular tourist places are actually helpful for pickpockets too! Why? Because as soon as we see that warning sign, our instinct is to immediately reach for our valuables to be sure we haven’t already been a target.

Pickpockets watch for tourists to check their valuables then follow them to another location before helping themselves

The number one target item today is a smart phone, not only for the phone but mostly for the data it contains.

DO make sure your phone and its SIM card are both protected with a PIN

DO Keep a record of your phone’s IMEI number (dial *#06# to locate it) that way you can block it in the event that it is pick pocketed.

DON’T keep your drivers license with your credit cards, you don’t want thieves to have your money as well as your birthday and home address!

DO keep a spare credit card in a different location Light as a feather, cool as a breeze, blocks 97% UV scarf

DON’T keep your wallet in your back pocket

DO keep a simple rubber band around your wallet; it makes it harder to slip out of a pocket

DO keep backup copies of passport, insurance documents, driver’s license etc in a secure location preferably online so you can access them easily in the event you are a victim.

Most of all be aware of your surroundings, be suspicious of anyone trying to misdirect your attention, or groups of people who “accidentally” bump into you

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The Friday before Memorial Day is “Don’t Fry Day”


use code NOBURN

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention is spreading the word that the Friday before Memorial Day as Don’t Fry Day. The Council want to encourage sun safety awareness by reminding everyone to protect their skin for sun damage whilst still enjoying the outdoors on Don’t Fry Day and every day.

Remember to Slip! Slop! Slap!…and Wrap when you’re outdoors — slip on a (UV blocking) clothing, slop on BROAD SPECTRUM sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, slap on a hat, and wrap on sunglasses.



Don’t fry day

Because no single step can fully protect you and your family from overexposure to UV radiation, follow as many of the following tips as possible:

  • Wear sun-protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat 3inches at least, and sunglasses.
  • Apply BROAD SPECTRUM sunscreen generously (remember it takes 20 minutes to even start working, so plan ahead and apply 20 minutes being going out in the sun).
  • Avoid sun burns, tanning, and using tanning beds.
  • Seek shade between 10am and 4pm.
  • Use extra caution near water and sand. Remember reflective surfaces increase the intensity of the rays.
  • Get vitamin D safely through food and vitamin D supplements.

As warm weather approaches and millions of Americans prepare to enjoy the great outdoors, the risk for ultraviolet (UV) damage of the skin increases. Skin cancer is on the rise in the United States, and the American Cancer Society estimates that one American dies every hour from skin cancer.

The best way to detect skin cancer early is to examine your skin regularly and recognize changes in moles and skin growths.



Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to UV radiation. Using a sunless self-tanning product and continuing to apply sunscreen can help greatly reduce skin cancer risk.

People with lighter-toned skin are more at risk of UV damage, although people of all races can and do develop skin cancer. If you have a family history of skin cancer, lots of moles or freckles, or a history of severe childhood sunburns you are at a higher risk of skin cancer.

It’s never too early to start educating your children to be sun smart using jewelry with color changing beads that react to UV light can be a big help as your kids get to become UV detectives!

Minimizing the dangerous effects of unprotected sun exposure, should be a life-long practice for everyone.

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Water Wise – 2 easy ways to reduce your water use (and save a few dollars too)


  • In the shower, turn off the water. Wet hair and body, turn off shower head, then lather up head and body, turn on water to rinse. Most shower heads use 2-3 gallons of water per minute so even turning the shower off for 30-60 seconds whilst you apply soap/shampoo/shower gel can add up to as much as 500 gallons a year per person!
  • Shampoo once and rinse. The “shampoo-twice” instruction probably came from manufacturers who wanted to sell more shampoo, excessive shampooing can remove too much of the natural oils (sebum) from the hair which is necessary to maintain the hair in its comfortable acid/base environment (pH), especially if you do it on a daily basis. Rinsing twice also uses twice the water GET READY FOR SUMMER CAMP SUN PROTECTION SUN SHRUG SUN SLEEVES

Do you have any water saving tips to share?

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DIY No Nasty Chemical Bathroom Freshner – No Poo Pourri – That REALLY Works

toilet loo outhouse pxby snow winter poo pourri

As you know I’m keen on saving water, amongst other tips we have taught the children not to flush with every visit to the toilet, unfortunately this has been interpreted into NEVER flush EVER!

Number 1 son reads on the can, so lost in Harry Potter is he, that when he is spotted heading toward the bathroom and the sound of a shower running is NOT heard it is customary to set a timer for 30 – 60 minutes (depending on the time of day), after which we commence pounding on the door so that he can go to bed, get to school, go on vacation! 60+ minutes is a long time for the air to become overwhelmingly polluted and the moment the seal on the door is broken a toxic cloud is released into the rest of the house with eye watering results!

Number 2 child (pardon eh pun) has her head in the clouds, where presumably she is unaware of the explosive nature of her offerings below. Whispering to herself on the throne she leaves the pot still chatting to her imaginary friends, she forgets she was even sitting to the loo, her leave-behind is anything but ladylike, and in the absence of flushing it is the gift that keeps on giving, in the form of an acrid stench. If it weren’t that her dropped drawers would bind her thighs and would cause her to trip she’d probably forget to pull up her pants! No amount of nagging, threats, or notices placed in the bathroom are ever heeded.

This is bad enough when it’s just us but when we have visitors it can be truly mortifying as any amount of pre-guest cleaning can be undone in the seconds before the doorbell rings, leaving us calling ‘just a minute’, rushing to the bathrooms for a last minute stink sweep

It was with great excitement (sad huh) I heard about a poo spray that is to be used BEFORE ‘dropping the kids at the pool’. It contains essential oils that essentially coat the deposits, sealing in the odor rather than trying to merely improve or cover the toxic stench after the event has become airborne. However great it might be the commercial brand is a tad pricey so I wanted to try a DIY version.

  • I got a small spray bottle in a travel pack at the dollar store
  • 20-30 drops of Essential Oil (I used lavender in one bathroom and peppermint in the other).
  • 1 tsp rubbing alcohol
  • Water


  • Pour rubbing alcohol in a 3 oz spray container
  • Add essential oils, alcohol keeps the oils from separating thus no shaking before each use.
  • Add water to fill the container.
  • Give it a good shake
  • 3-4 sprays are sufficient to cover the bowl and prevent nasty waftings.

IT WORKS! For most people you give a few sprays into the bowl before downloading but in the case of the children’s bathroom I spray every time I go by in anticipation of the inevitable

Store bought brand $11.99

Homemade = less than $1 – now that doesn’t stink!

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Recycle, Reuse, DIY No Waste Birdfeeder


I HATE wasting food so I was none too pleased when I dropped an entire brand new baDIY EASY BIRDFEEDERg of peanuts on the not-clean-enough-to-eat-off kitchen floor.

I can’t throw the nuts on the ground or the distracted festing birds will just become kitty snacks! After a bit of pondering I came up with a solution that I thought I’d share.

You need

1) toilet roll tube

2) peanut butter

3) wire from the outside of a lettuce

4) spilled nuts

Slather toilet roll with peanut butter, press in peanuts, hang somewhere out of the reach of peckish moggies!

Have you made you own feeder? Have you created a clever way to use up food that would otherwise go to waste?

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10 US States “Ban the Tan” – Will more follow with new FDA warning label?

In July, Hawaii became the 10th state to completely ban indoor tanning for minors, along VERO BEACH BASE TAN SUNBED SSwith California, Texas Illinois, Nevada, Louisiana, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

“Earlier exposure to indoor tanning is associated with a greater risk for developing basal cell carcinoma at a young age,” said Margaret Karagas, director of the Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center at Dartmouth University in Hanover, New Hampshire.

2014 also saw the FDA move tanning lamps into the category of “moderately harmful” medical devices.

According to Dr. Henry Lim, chairman of dermatology at Henry Ford Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan, and senior author of the review. “There is a lot of evidence that early and frequent use of tanning beds increases the risk of skin cancer.”

All sunlamps will have a “black box warning label” that say they shouldn’t be used by those under the age of 18.

The FDA guidelines will likely encourage more states to enact legislation. Already there are regulations in most states, such as requiring parental consent.

The new FDA regulations reinforce the recent studies that teens and young adults are particularly vulnerable to developing skin cancer if they use tanning beds

People who are exposed to tanning beds before the age of 35 years have a significantly higher risk of developing melanoma.

During the winter month folks often take to the tanning salon to extend a summer tan, get a ‘base tan’ for a winter vacation or because they think they will benefit from additional vitamin d

Unfortunately many people still think that tanned skin offers protection from future UV damage but this is simply not true and just encourages people to spend increased time in the sun without adequate protection believing that their ‘base tan’ is protecting them.

Tanning devices primarily emit UV-A light, which are the longer rays that cause cellular damage deeper in the skin tissue. It is this damage that can lead to skin cancer and wrinkles, additionally UVA is less effective at inducing skin to make vitamin D than UV-B, so there’s really no reason to use a tanning bed for a health benefit.

Additionally it has been found that the use of tanning beds can be addictive in the same way as a drug.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology some 30 million Americans use tanning beds each year, of which around 2 million are teenagers.

Young women are the most at-risk population for developing melanoma directly associated with the use of tanning beds girls

This holiday season skip the sunbed and embrace your pale perfection, but if you really can’t bear to be without a little gorgeous glow opt for a splash suntan spray.


Fda, skin cancer, melanoma, sunbed, tanning salon, tanning bed, indoor tanning, uva, uvb, uv rays, sun damage, basal cell sarcoma, spray tan, American Academy of Dermatology, vitamin D, tanning lamps

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Why Mosquitoes Think You Are Extra Tasty & What You Can Do About It

mosquito-skeeter (1)

On a couple of our camping trips this summer we were besieged by mosquitoes. I don’t think there was anyone who came away completely unmolested but some of us definitely seemed to be tastier that others, with a trip to hot humid bug haven Florida coming up I thought I’d look into what is it about me that makes me so appetizing and see if there is anything I can do to make myself less appealing.
I came up with some facts that really surprised me so I thought I’d share my findings
1. Breathing.
Mosquitoes detect carbon dioxide in the air, & can smell their dinner from an astonishing distance of 50 meters, once they get a whiff they fly in a zigzag pattern through the CO2 plume until they zero in the source. Cut down on exercise later in the day when mosquitoes are most active.
2. Movement
Mosquitoes first locate potential victims using their sight, the more you run around, the more mozzy attention you attract, they see you as a waiter waving them to a free table at your skin smorgasbord
3. Heat Skeeters are heat-seeking missiles. They can’t sense your body heat from a great distance, once they get within a few yards, your warmth will welcome them with open (bare) arms.
4. Body Odor the more you move the more you sweat and now you have added the sweet sweaty smell of lactic acid on your skin, a succulent sauce inviting your mozzy neighbors over for chow.
5. Lotion If you do decide to shower off, be careful you aren’t following your ablutions with lotion, containing “alpha hydroxy,” as this will return a hearty helping of luscious lactic acid right back on to your skin!.
6. Color of Clothing.mosquito bites-skeeter (2)
Mozzys like dark colors, especially blue. They spot hosts by comparing your silhouette to the horizon. Dark colors stand out, while light shades blend in, Now this really irks me, we always dress in dark clothing when camping, I really don’t want to see just how dusty and filthy we are!
7. Socks.
A tent reeking of stinky feet may be repellant to yours truly but Mosquitoes love smelly feet. In an experiment Entomologist Daniel L. Kline actually used 3-day-old dirty socks as a mosquito lure socks, the bacteria that grow on human feet proved irresistible to them.
8 Perfume.
Discerning skeeters are especially attracted to floral scents
9. Eat, drink and attract many!
Studies show people who’ve had a few beers, drank coffee or indulged in some strong smelling cheese tend to score the most mosquito bites. Beware the Limburger, this cheese is actually made with the same bacteria that makes your feet stink!
10. Dusk and Dawn mosquitoes usually feed at dawn and dusk when the wind tends to die down and the humidity rises.
So what to do?
A Mosquito bite could mean more than a few days of itching, for some people severe allergic reactions can follow a bite and not to mention that threat of mosquito-transmitted illnesses.
The West Nile virus appeared in the U.S. in 1999. In 2008 alone, the CDC reported 1,356 cases of West Nile throughout the U.S. and 44 deaths.
• DEET continues to be most popular chemical in repellents, Repellents with 23.8% DEET (most formulas contain 10% – 30%) protects for about 5 hours.
• Picaridin has proven to be as effective as DEET but is pleasanter to use as it is odorless. Picaridin is safe for children older than 2 months.
• Avon’s Skin-So-Soft, o has been marketed as a mosquito repellent in the U.S. Research shows it’s much less effective than DEET.
• DeckMate Mosquito Repellent, available as a paper strip, to be placed in outdoor areas like patios and decks. It can also be worn; it comes in a small container with a replaceable cartridge. Clip onto a belt or clothing, it relies on a battery-powered fan to release the mosquito repellent into the area, surrounding and protecting the wearer
Non Chemical-based Alternatives
If you want to avoid chemical-based repellents altogether try these.
• Oils — citronella, cedar, peppermint, lemongrass, and geranium — provide short-lived protection.
• Oil of eucalyptus products, may offer longer-lasting protection
• Repel – uses oil of lemon eucalyptus offers protection similar to low concentrations of DEET. Lemon eucalyptus is safe for children older than 3 years
• Don’t Bite Me! Skin patches containing thiamine (vitamin B1) produces skin odor female mosquitoes don’t like.SUN SLEEVEZ ARM SLEEVES
Bugs Be Gone
• Mosquito traps, work by emitting substances that biting mosquitoes find attractive — such as carbon dioxide, heat, moisture, then trap or kill female mosquitoes.
• Insect shield repellent apparel — clothing infused with the chemical insecticide permethrin.
• Find and eliminate standing water, clogged gutters, garbage cans, bird baths even the crevices of plastic toys are an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes,

So there it is, I shall spend my evenings dressed in all white, (sorry I shan’t be able to help with cooking or doing anything dirty, I’ve gone from mozzie magnet to stain magnet) situate myself in front of a fan and lay quite still on the chaise lounge not breaking a sweat and resisting any cheesy appetizers.
Thankfully I didn’t read anything about mosquitoes having a fondness my favorite red liquid, which I will of course sip slowly!

Posted in Camping, Outdoor Living, Skin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments